A month ago, we were talking about the disunity in the Republican Party, with the Tea Party and “establishment” wings of the GOP pointing fingers at each other for the mess the government shutdown was creating for them.
Now the focus is on the other guys.
Democrats, who stood as one during the entire 16-day shutdown, are now showing signs of unease, if not panic, as more and more problems with President Obama’s Affordable Care Act are coming to light. At first, it was simply the web site’s “glitch.” Then, it became Obama’s oft-quoted promise that if you liked your insurance policy before, you can keep it, a promise that proved unrealistic, at the least.
Hoping to take advantage of the Democrats’ discomfort — and to once again remind everyone that, in their view, Obamacare is not ready for prime time — Republicans in the House passed a bill Friday that allows insurance companies to continue offering health care plans to customers, even if the plans do not meet the conditions set out in the ACA. The vote on the bill, sponsored by Fred Upton (R-Mich.), was 261-157. Despite strong lobbying against it by the Democratic leadership and an Obama veto promise, 39 Democrats broke with their party to support it … a sign that some Democrats are feeling the heat for the uneven launch of the program. The Washington Post’s Ed O’Keefe wrote the 39 yes votes “represent the single largest tally of defectors this year on any major or closely-watched piece of legislation.” Politico called it a “significant show of disloyalty to the White House.”
The 39 Dem defectors: Ron Barber (AZ), John Barrow (GA), Ami Bera (CA), Tim Bishop (NY), Bruce Braley (IA), Julia Brownley (CA), Cheri Bustos (IL), Jim Costa (CA), Peter DeFazio (OR), Suzan DelBene (WA), Tammy Duckworth (IL), William Enyart (IL), Elizabeth Esty (CT), Bill Foster (IL), Pete Gallego (TX), John Garamendi (CA), Joe Garcia (FL), Ron Kind (WI), Ann McLane Kuster (NH), Dave Loebsack (IA), Dan Maffei (NY), Sean Maloney (NY), Jim Matheson (UT), Mike McIntyre (NC), Jerry McNerney (CA), Patrick Murphy (FL), Rick Nolan (MN), Bill Owens (NY), Scott Peters (CA), Gary Peters (MI), Colin Peterson (MN), Nick Rahall (WV), Raul Ruiz (CA), Bill Schneider (IL), Kurt Schrader (OR), Carol Shea-Porter (NH), Kyrsten Sinema (AZ), Filemon Vela (TX), and Tim Walz (MN).
Four Republicans voted against the bill — Jim Bridenstine (OK), Paul Broun (GA), Ralph Hall (TX) and Thomas Massie (KY). All said the only solution is to repeal Obamacare, not to fix it.